Journal of Romance Studies

Adaptation: ‘bastard child’ or critique? Putting terminology centre stage

Journal of Romance Studies (2008), 8, (3), 51–65.

Abstract

This article focuses on the theorization of ‘adaptation’ as an interlingual textual practice, in relation to ‘translation’. Generally perceived as a ‘freer’, even ‘irreverent’ form of translation, adaptation as a term and concept raises problems of definition, because of the several, converging ways it is used by practitioners and scholars. How much freer should the translation be before it becomes an adaptation? And can a distinction be made at all? Adaptation is here put centre stage and analysed, with particular reference to strategies of adaptation produced by the interaction of ‘culturality’ and ‘subjectivity’, the former linked to specific target theatre audiences and theatrical cultures, as well as the translator’s own perceptions of both source and target cultures, the latter to the aesthetics and literary idiolect of the stage translator.

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Aaltonen, Sirkku (1997) ‘Translating plays or baking apple pies: a functional approach to the study of drama translation’, in Translation as Intercultural Communication, ed. Mary Snell-Hornby, Zuzana Jettmarová and Klaus Kaindl (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins), 89–98. Translating plays or baking apple pies: a functional approach to the study of drama translation Translation as Intercultural Communication 89 98 Google Scholar

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Bassnett-McGuire, Susan (1985) ‘Ways through the labyrinth: strategies and methods for translating theatre texts’, in The Manipulation of Literary Fame: Studies in Literary Translation, ed. Theo Hermans (London: Croom Helm), 87–102. Ways through the labyrinth: strategies and methods for translating theatre texts The Manipulation of Literary Fame: Studies in Literary Translation 87 102 Google Scholar

Bastin, Georges L. (1998) ‘Adaptation’, trans. Mark Gregson, in Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, I, ed. Mona Baker (London and New York: Routledge), 5–8. Adaptation Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies 5 8 Google Scholar

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Bharucha, Rustom (1996b) ‘Somebody’s Other: disorientations in the cultural politics of our times’, in The Intercultural Performance Reader, ed. Patrice Pavis (London and New York: Routledge), 196–216. Somebody’s Other: disorientations in the cultural politics of our times The Intercultural Performance Reader 196 216 Google Scholar

Cameron, Derrick (2000) ‘Tradaptation: cultural exchange and black British theatre’, in Moving Target: Theatre Translation and Cultural Relocation, ed. Carole-Anne Upton (Manchester: St Jerome), 17–24. Tradaptation: cultural exchange and black British theatre Moving Target: Theatre Translation and Cultural Relocation 17 24 Google Scholar

Carlson, Marvin (1985) ‘Theatrical performance: illustration, translation, fulfilment, or supplement?’, Theatre Journal 37.1, 5–12. Theatrical performance: illustration, translation, fulfilment, or supplement? Theatre Journal 37.1 5 12 Google Scholar

Césaire, Aimé (1969) Une tempête (Paris: Seuil). Une tempête Google Scholar

Chekhov, Anton (1981) The Seagull by Anton Chekhov: A New Version, trans. Thomas Kilroy, The Royal Court Writers Series (London: Methuen). The Seagull by Anton Chekhov: A New Version Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques (1976) Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press). Of Grammatology Google Scholar

Dixon, Victor (1996) ‘On translating the Duke’s first soliloquy in Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin verganza’, in The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification, ed. Malcom Coulthard and Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta (Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press), 213–42. On translating the Duke’s first soliloquy in Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin verganza The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification 213 42 Google Scholar

Dryden Taylor, Jonathan (trans.) (1998) Dario Fo’s Klaxons, Trumpets and Raspberries, play programme (London: The Gate Theatre). Dario Fo’s Klaxons, Trumpets and Raspberries Google Scholar

Edney, David (1996) ‘Translating (and not translating) in a Canadian context’, in Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage, ed. David Johnston (Bath: Absolute Classics), 229–38. Translating (and not translating) in a Canadian context Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage 229 38 Google Scholar

Fischlin, Daniel and Mark Fortier (eds) (2000) Adaptations of Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology of Plays from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (London and New York: Routledge). Adaptations of Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology of Plays from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Google Scholar

Flotow Luise von (1997) Translation and Gender: Translating in the ‘Era’ of Feminism (Manchester: St Jerome). Translation and Gender: Translating in the ‘Era’ of Feminism Google Scholar

Frayn, Michael, Christopher Hampton, Timberlake Wertenbaker (1992) Platform Papers,I: Translation (London: Royal National Theatre). Platform Papers,I: Translation Google Scholar

Hale, Terry (2000) ‘Romanticism and the Victorian age’, in The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, ed. Peter France (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 64–72. Romanticism and the Victorian age The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation 64 72 Google Scholar

Harrison, Tony (1975) Phaedra Britannica (London: Rex Collings). Phaedra Britannica Google Scholar

Hermans, Theo (ed.) (1985) The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation (London: Croom Helm). The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation Google Scholar

Heylen, Romy (1993) Translation, Poetics, and the Stage (London and New York: Routledge). Translation, Poetics, and the Stage Google Scholar

Jakobson, Roman (1966) ‘On linguistic aspects of translation’, in On Translation, ed. Reuben A. Brower (New York: Oxford University Press), 232–9. On linguistic aspects of translation On Translation 232 9 Google Scholar

Johnston, David (1996a) ‘Text and ideotext: translation and adaptation for the stage’, in The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification, ed. Malcom Coulthard and Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta (Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press), 243–58. Text and ideotext: translation and adaptation for the stage The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification 243 58 Google Scholar

Johnston, David (ed.) (1996b) Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage (Bath: Absolute Classics). Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage Google Scholar

Kosok, Heinz (2004) ‘Cracks in the Jug: recent translations/adaptations of continental plays by Irish dramatists’, in Drama Translation and Theatre Practice, ed. Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Holger Klein (Bern: Peter Lang), 99–120. Cracks in the Jug: recent translations/adaptations of continental plays by Irish dramatists Drama Translation and Theatre Practice 99 120 Google Scholar

Link, Franz H. (1980) ‘Translation, adaptation and interpretation of dramatic texts’, in The Languages of Theatre: Problems in the Translation and Transposition of Drama, ed. Otrun Zuber (London: Pergamon Press), 24–50. Translation, adaptation and interpretation of dramatic texts The Languages of Theatre: Problems in the Translation and Transposition of Drama 24 50 Google Scholar

Loffredo, Eugenia and Manuela Perteghella (2006) ‘Introduction’, in Translation and Creative Writing: Perspectives on Creative Writing and Translation Studies, ed. Eugenia Loffredo and Manuela Perteghella (London and New York: Continuum), 1–16. Introduction Translation and Creative Writing: Perspectives on Creative Writing and Translation Studies 1 16 Google Scholar

Malmkjær, Kirsten (2000) ‘Adaptation’, in The Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, I, ed. Olive Classe (London and Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers), 2–3. Adaptation The Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English 2 3 Google Scholar

Mengel, Ewald (1994) On First Looking into Arden’s Goethe: Adaptations and Translations of Classical German Plays for the Modern English Stage (Columbia SC: Camden House). On First Looking into Arden’s Goethe: Adaptations and Translations of Classical German Plays for the Modern English Stage Google Scholar

Newmark, Peter (1988) A Textbook of Translation (New York and London: Prentice-Hall). A Textbook of Translation Google Scholar

Nida, Eugene (2000) ‘Principles of correspondence’, in The Translation Studies Reader, ed. Lawrence Venuti (London and New York: Routledge), 126–40. Principles of correspondence The Translation Studies Reader 126 40 Google Scholar

Pavis, Patrice (1989) ‘Problems of translation for the stage: interculturalism and post-modern theatre’, trans. Loren Kruger, in The Play Out of Context: Transferring Plays from Culture to Culture, ed. Hanna Scolnicov and Peter Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 25–44. Problems of translation for the stage: interculturalism and post-modern theatre The Play Out of Context: Transferring Plays from Culture to Culture 25 44 Google Scholar

Pavis, Patrice (ed.) (1996) The Intercultural Performance Reader (London and New York: Routledge). The Intercultural Performance Reader Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Rose, Marilyn Gaddis (1997) Translation and Literary Criticism: Translation as Analysis (Manchester: St Jerome). Translation and Literary Criticism: Translation as Analysis Google Scholar

Venuti, Lawrence (ed.) (1992) Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology (London and New York: Routledge). Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology Google Scholar

Venuti, Lawrence (1995) The Translator’s Invisibility (London: Routledge). The Translator’s Invisibility Google Scholar

Vinay, Jean-Paul and Jean Darbelnet (2000) ‘A methodology for translation’, trans. Juan C. Sager and M.-J. Hamel, in The Translation Studies Reader, ed. Lawrence Venuti (London and New York: Routledge), 84–93. A methodology for translation The Translation Studies Reader 84 93 Google Scholar

Zatlin, Phyllis (2005) Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters). Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View Google Scholar

Aaltonen, Sirkku (1997) ‘Translating plays or baking apple pies: a functional approach to the study of drama translation’, in Translation as Intercultural Communication, ed. Mary Snell-Hornby, Zuzana Jettmarová and Klaus Kaindl (Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins), 89–98. Translating plays or baking apple pies: a functional approach to the study of drama translation Translation as Intercultural Communication 89 98 Google Scholar

Aaltonen, Sirkku (2000) Time-Sharing on Stage: Drama Translation in Theatre and Society (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters). Time-Sharing on Stage: Drama Translation in Theatre and Society Google Scholar

Barthes, Roland (1981) ‘Theory of the text’, in Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader, ed. Robert Young (Boston: Routledge & Kegan Paul), 31–47. Theory of the text Untying the Text: A Post-Structuralist Reader 31 47 Google Scholar

Bassnett, Susan (1998) ‘Still trapped in the labyrinth: further reflections on translation and theatre’, in Constructing Cultures: Essay on Literary Translation, ed. Susan Bassnett and André Lefevere (Clevendon: Multilingual Matters), 90–108. Still trapped in the labyrinth: further reflections on translation and theatre Constructing Cultures: Essay on Literary Translation 90 108 Google Scholar

Bassnett, Susan (2000) ‘Theatre and opera’, in The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, ed. Peter France (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 96–103. Theatre and opera The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation 96 103 Google Scholar

Bassnett-McGuire, Susan (1985) ‘Ways through the labyrinth: strategies and methods for translating theatre texts’, in The Manipulation of Literary Fame: Studies in Literary Translation, ed. Theo Hermans (London: Croom Helm), 87–102. Ways through the labyrinth: strategies and methods for translating theatre texts The Manipulation of Literary Fame: Studies in Literary Translation 87 102 Google Scholar

Bastin, Georges L. (1998) ‘Adaptation’, trans. Mark Gregson, in Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies, I, ed. Mona Baker (London and New York: Routledge), 5–8. Adaptation Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies 5 8 Google Scholar

Bharucha, Rustom (1996a) ‘Under the sign of the onion: intracultural negotiations in theatre’, New Theatre Quarterly 12.46, 116–29. Under the sign of the onion: intracultural negotiations in theatre New Theatre Quarterly 12.46 116 29 Google Scholar

Bharucha, Rustom (1996b) ‘Somebody’s Other: disorientations in the cultural politics of our times’, in The Intercultural Performance Reader, ed. Patrice Pavis (London and New York: Routledge), 196–216. Somebody’s Other: disorientations in the cultural politics of our times The Intercultural Performance Reader 196 216 Google Scholar

Cameron, Derrick (2000) ‘Tradaptation: cultural exchange and black British theatre’, in Moving Target: Theatre Translation and Cultural Relocation, ed. Carole-Anne Upton (Manchester: St Jerome), 17–24. Tradaptation: cultural exchange and black British theatre Moving Target: Theatre Translation and Cultural Relocation 17 24 Google Scholar

Carlson, Marvin (1985) ‘Theatrical performance: illustration, translation, fulfilment, or supplement?’, Theatre Journal 37.1, 5–12. Theatrical performance: illustration, translation, fulfilment, or supplement? Theatre Journal 37.1 5 12 Google Scholar

Césaire, Aimé (1969) Une tempête (Paris: Seuil). Une tempête Google Scholar

Chekhov, Anton (1981) The Seagull by Anton Chekhov: A New Version, trans. Thomas Kilroy, The Royal Court Writers Series (London: Methuen). The Seagull by Anton Chekhov: A New Version Google Scholar

Derrida, Jacques (1976) Of Grammatology, trans. Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press). Of Grammatology Google Scholar

Dixon, Victor (1996) ‘On translating the Duke’s first soliloquy in Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin verganza’, in The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification, ed. Malcom Coulthard and Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta (Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press), 213–42. On translating the Duke’s first soliloquy in Lope de Vega’s El castigo sin verganza The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification 213 42 Google Scholar

Dryden Taylor, Jonathan (trans.) (1998) Dario Fo’s Klaxons, Trumpets and Raspberries, play programme (London: The Gate Theatre). Dario Fo’s Klaxons, Trumpets and Raspberries Google Scholar

Edney, David (1996) ‘Translating (and not translating) in a Canadian context’, in Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage, ed. David Johnston (Bath: Absolute Classics), 229–38. Translating (and not translating) in a Canadian context Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage 229 38 Google Scholar

Fischlin, Daniel and Mark Fortier (eds) (2000) Adaptations of Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology of Plays from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (London and New York: Routledge). Adaptations of Shakespeare: A Critical Anthology of Plays from the Seventeenth Century to the Present Google Scholar

Flotow Luise von (1997) Translation and Gender: Translating in the ‘Era’ of Feminism (Manchester: St Jerome). Translation and Gender: Translating in the ‘Era’ of Feminism Google Scholar

Frayn, Michael, Christopher Hampton, Timberlake Wertenbaker (1992) Platform Papers,I: Translation (London: Royal National Theatre). Platform Papers,I: Translation Google Scholar

Hale, Terry (2000) ‘Romanticism and the Victorian age’, in The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation, ed. Peter France (Oxford: Oxford University Press), 64–72. Romanticism and the Victorian age The Oxford Guide to Literature in English Translation 64 72 Google Scholar

Harrison, Tony (1975) Phaedra Britannica (London: Rex Collings). Phaedra Britannica Google Scholar

Hermans, Theo (ed.) (1985) The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation (London: Croom Helm). The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation Google Scholar

Heylen, Romy (1993) Translation, Poetics, and the Stage (London and New York: Routledge). Translation, Poetics, and the Stage Google Scholar

Jakobson, Roman (1966) ‘On linguistic aspects of translation’, in On Translation, ed. Reuben A. Brower (New York: Oxford University Press), 232–9. On linguistic aspects of translation On Translation 232 9 Google Scholar

Johnston, David (1996a) ‘Text and ideotext: translation and adaptation for the stage’, in The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification, ed. Malcom Coulthard and Patricia Anne Odber de Baubeta (Lewiston, Queenston and Lampeter: The Edwin Mellen Press), 243–58. Text and ideotext: translation and adaptation for the stage The Knowledges of the Translator: From Literary Interpretation to Machine Classification 243 58 Google Scholar

Johnston, David (ed.) (1996b) Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage (Bath: Absolute Classics). Stages of Translation: Essays and Interviews on Translating for the Stage Google Scholar

Kosok, Heinz (2004) ‘Cracks in the Jug: recent translations/adaptations of continental plays by Irish dramatists’, in Drama Translation and Theatre Practice, ed. Sabine Coelsch-Foisner and Holger Klein (Bern: Peter Lang), 99–120. Cracks in the Jug: recent translations/adaptations of continental plays by Irish dramatists Drama Translation and Theatre Practice 99 120 Google Scholar

Link, Franz H. (1980) ‘Translation, adaptation and interpretation of dramatic texts’, in The Languages of Theatre: Problems in the Translation and Transposition of Drama, ed. Otrun Zuber (London: Pergamon Press), 24–50. Translation, adaptation and interpretation of dramatic texts The Languages of Theatre: Problems in the Translation and Transposition of Drama 24 50 Google Scholar

Loffredo, Eugenia and Manuela Perteghella (2006) ‘Introduction’, in Translation and Creative Writing: Perspectives on Creative Writing and Translation Studies, ed. Eugenia Loffredo and Manuela Perteghella (London and New York: Continuum), 1–16. Introduction Translation and Creative Writing: Perspectives on Creative Writing and Translation Studies 1 16 Google Scholar

Malmkjær, Kirsten (2000) ‘Adaptation’, in The Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English, I, ed. Olive Classe (London and Chicago: Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers), 2–3. Adaptation The Encyclopedia of Literary Translation into English 2 3 Google Scholar

Mengel, Ewald (1994) On First Looking into Arden’s Goethe: Adaptations and Translations of Classical German Plays for the Modern English Stage (Columbia SC: Camden House). On First Looking into Arden’s Goethe: Adaptations and Translations of Classical German Plays for the Modern English Stage Google Scholar

Newmark, Peter (1988) A Textbook of Translation (New York and London: Prentice-Hall). A Textbook of Translation Google Scholar

Nida, Eugene (2000) ‘Principles of correspondence’, in The Translation Studies Reader, ed. Lawrence Venuti (London and New York: Routledge), 126–40. Principles of correspondence The Translation Studies Reader 126 40 Google Scholar

Pavis, Patrice (1989) ‘Problems of translation for the stage: interculturalism and post-modern theatre’, trans. Loren Kruger, in The Play Out of Context: Transferring Plays from Culture to Culture, ed. Hanna Scolnicov and Peter Holland (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), 25–44. Problems of translation for the stage: interculturalism and post-modern theatre The Play Out of Context: Transferring Plays from Culture to Culture 25 44 Google Scholar

Pavis, Patrice (ed.) (1996) The Intercultural Performance Reader (London and New York: Routledge). The Intercultural Performance Reader Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

Rose, Marilyn Gaddis (1997) Translation and Literary Criticism: Translation as Analysis (Manchester: St Jerome). Translation and Literary Criticism: Translation as Analysis Google Scholar

Venuti, Lawrence (ed.) (1992) Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology (London and New York: Routledge). Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology Google Scholar

Venuti, Lawrence (1995) The Translator’s Invisibility (London: Routledge). The Translator’s Invisibility Google Scholar

Vinay, Jean-Paul and Jean Darbelnet (2000) ‘A methodology for translation’, trans. Juan C. Sager and M.-J. Hamel, in The Translation Studies Reader, ed. Lawrence Venuti (London and New York: Routledge), 84–93. A methodology for translation The Translation Studies Reader 84 93 Google Scholar

Zatlin, Phyllis (2005) Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View (Clevedon: Multilingual Matters). Theatrical Translation and Film Adaptation: A Practitioner’s View Google Scholar

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Perteghella, Manuela